I recently found myself resistant to making the time for several appointments related to maintaining my physical being like going to the dentist, the eye doctor, the barber, and getting some new clothes. I can tell when I am not doing such a good job of managing my stress-level when these types of personal maintenance items feel like too much to juggle with work and “everything else” and life begins to feel too much like one event after the next.
It occurred to me that some of us actually take better care of our machines than ourselves. When the “check engine” light comes on, we take the car to the mechanic. We proactively take the car for preventive maintenance like oil changes. We keep our bicycle tires inflated and chain oiled. We run anti-virus programs on our computers to keep them functioning and reliable. If the furnace needs maintenance in the middle of winter, we don’t wait. Yet, we’re willing to put off taking care of ourselves.
In my case, I decided to set aside a day to take care of several of the deferred maintenance items on my list and interspersed it with other things that are fun and stress-free for me – taking the time for a hot breakfast, playing a little guitar, taking the dog for a walk, going out to dinner with my wife and friends. For me, I had to block out a chunk of time to take care of my deferred maintenance list. That worked for me. Another option would be to pencil the preventive maintenance into my regular, daily calendar and stay caught up, but since I was overdue, setting aside a day for it provided a great way to catch up while also taking a break from the routine.
Do you have deferred personal maintenance? How will you get caught up? Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for making the time for it.